Nimba County Sports Steering Committee Faces Media Blackout

The Nimba Community Radio Association (NICROA) has classified the current batch of officials appointed on the Nimba County Sports Steering Committee headed by its Chairman, Adonis Menlor as “unserious people and do not have the county at heart and lack accountability and transparency,” evidenced by the conduct of the recent District League staged in Ganta, where there is no report being made to the people of Nimba.

NICORA, in a statement issued by its President S. Kennedy Domah, stated that therefore, having failed to respect the content of NICORA’s communication addressed to the Nimba County Sport Steering Committee Chairman Menlor, for which he was requested to act within seventy-two (72) hours by revoking coach Mouctar Fofana’s appointment in order to save the face of the county, the group is placing a media backout on all activities of the Nimba County Sports Steering Committee during and after the National County Sports Meet 2021/2022.

He said as a result of this decision, NICORA urges all sport reporters that are working with all community radio stations in Nimba County to stay away from the activities of the Nimba County Sports Steering Committee or else they will face indefinite suspension.

NICORA has also called on its partners and those who owned individual online platforms to join NICORA in this process for the betterment and interest of the county.

“We also want to send this message to all citizens of Nimba residing in the county and the country at large most importantly in the Dispora not to support the Nimba County team under the stewardship of coach Mouctarr Fofana in this year’s National County Sports Meet 2021/2022.”

NICORA indicated that this media blackout takes immediate effect.

NICORA made it known that on October 20, 2021, the body wrote a letter to the chairman of the Nimba County Sports Steering Committee, Mr. Menlor, informing his office of the recent appointment of Fofana as head coach of Nimba County soccer team for the 2021/2022 National County Sports Meet, thus sparking out debate across the county and the country.

Since his appointment, NICORA explained, there have been numerous calls from the public for the revocation of such appointment because Fofana has not presented a good picture of Nimba in previous County Sports meets as head Coach of the county. The group quoted citizens of Nimba as alluding to the fact that the actions of Fofana during and after the 2019/2020 County Sports meet final with Grand Kru caused the Nimba County soccer team under his stewardship to walk out off the pitch in protest of being cheated by the referee who awarded a penalty to its opponent in the game.

NICORA noted that Fofana’s decision to ask the players to walk off the pitch violated the true essence of the National County Sports Meet and brought the county to public disrepute. “Fofana’s action also led to Nimba being fined and Minister D. Zeogar Wilson harshly and sarcastically referring to Nimbaians as hooligans. As you may recalled, following Minster Wilson outburst against the county, Fofana unilaterally and dishonestly apologized to the Minister and subsequently resigned as coach for the county.”

NICORA made it known that such self–centered decision by Fofana undermined statement from both the Sports Steering Committee of Nimba County and the citizens, who were calling for the Minister to apologize to Nimba or Nimba face self-expulsion.

“Up to press time, Mr. Mouctarr Fofana is yet to apologize to the people of Nimba for abandoning the county during such crisis and also provide reasons why the team walked out of the pitch during the game.

“Mr. Menlor, Article 2 of the code of ethics for the Liberian media instructs us to protect the public interest. Also article 2.1 (I) of that rules calls on the media to “detect or expose crimes or impropriety” while 2.1 (ii) prevails on the public from being misled by an action or statement of an individual or institutions.”

NICORA thinks Fofana’s action during and after the Nimba versus Grand Kru final in the 2019/2020 National County Sports Meet was improper and his recent appointment is against the public interest, evidenced by the numerous calls from the public on the steering committee to revoke such decision and respect the results from a vetting committee set up.

NICORA sees it reprehensible for the Nimba County Sports Steering Committee to play the role of the vetting committee, which was made up of professional Nimbians with impeccable characters, and appoint Fofana whose name did not even appear on the listing of the vetting committee.

The group warned: “Let the words go forth, that the essence of setting up a vetting committee in any given institution is to practice transparency and accountability and to on the other hand give the clear picture of Democracy.

“NICORA also realized that chairman Adonis Menlor and his agent,  Mocutarr Fofana do not have the moral characters to restore the lost dignity of the sportsmanship in the county, therefore, the people of Nimba should not expect better of them in this 2021/2022 National County Sports Meet.”

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